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Old 02-06-2008   #1
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Default Are servers the new media?

I know just a few years ago, the concept of scrapping hard media for a server seemed pathetic. Now, many have realized the benefit of having all your music, and now with HD prices falling, even movies stored digitally on a central unit for distribution around the home.

The new Apple Mac Book Air has even gone so far as to not include an optical drive. Some would say Jobs is insane, but if you recall he was also the first person not to include a floppy drive in his computers and now none of us use them anymore.

Will the CD, DVD, and for that matter even HD DVD and Blu-ray discs all be gone soon for downloadable media?

I think anyone who's got a music server will tell you they love it. The flexibility of playing anything without going through your vast collection of CD's (all mine are kept in huge CD books without the jewel cases to save space) makes listening to anything simple and for those of us with such systems, I think we find we listen to things we might not normally have.

I for one would be fine without having discs in my home. If I could download it and store it effectively and securely, I would, and will when that day comes. We are getting closer, but we're not quite there yet, hopefully soon!
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Old 02-06-2008   #2
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Default Re: Are servers the new media?

DVD and CD changers have been around for a long time. You can easily set them to random play. If something happens to your changer, you don't loose all your media content. I like media servers too, just not the idea of we no longer need CD/DVD/BD/HD DVD etc. I really like the idea of actually owning a physical hard copy of the artistic content purchased - like almost everyone that reads books, magazines, and buys paintings or other 2D works of art, they like to have the physical copy or original piece of art.

Books on CD and downloadable books from the internet have been around for way over a decade, but you still see bookstores selling paper copies, and probably will for a long time to come.

There are even still, people that can't stop using vinyl records (probably on this forum) that have no intention of quitting any time soon.

So, I think getting people to move to only downloadable media will take a long, long time.
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Old 02-06-2008   #3
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Default Re: Are servers the new media?

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Originally Posted by rlpiii View Post
DVD and CD changers have been around for a long time. You can easily set them to random play. If something happens to your changer, you don't loose all your media content.
This is interesting because people are used to the benefits of a Media Server. As you mentioned they are very much like a changer. The downside is as you said losing your content.

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I think getting people to move to only downloadable media will take a long, long time.
Same here. It might happen in 30 years. There will always be a market for actual Media in a hard copy.

However Media Servers don't mean "downloaded content," but just a one box solution to hold your media. I have a HTPC that I recently modified to use the Control4 software (I'm probably breaking all kinds of rules with that) and it has 18TB of HD space (and growing). It holds my entire CD, DVD, BD, and HD DVD collection currently.

I still own all those discs. They aren't going anywhere. I'm getting more HDs to provide "backup," for my collection. So if the server does die, I just replace it. If one of the HDs holding content dies, I plug in the backup, and get a new HD to backup that unit.

Currently I'm just playing around with it all. I've found that I prefer to watch movies on DVD with the HTPC, but High Def content through a player. Music is "ok," but I'm getting an Arcam server so I'll put all the music on that. See if I can get an improvement in SQ.
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Old 02-06-2008   #4
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Default Re: Are servers the new media?

"it has 18TB of HD space (and growing). It holds my entire CD, DVD, BD, and HD DVD collection currently."

Wow! You have a serious investment in hard drives. Sounds like you have a lot of time and money invested in your HTPC.

I looked into a HTPC a while back, and just decided that the way I would want to build it up would be very costly and timely for me, not to mention how it would try my patience to move over all my media to hard drives. I could barely sit through the monotony of converting CDs to MP3s. I think I only managed to to get through about 20 or more before I quit. So, I just decided to stick with the changers I already have.

I know Media Servers don't mean downloadable content, I was just also trying to answer Ken's question, "Will the CD, DVD, and for that matter even HD DVD and Blu-ray discs all be gone soon for downloadable media?" in my post as well.
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Old 02-06-2008   #5
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Default Re: Are servers the new media?

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"it has 18TB of HD space (and growing). It holds my entire CD, DVD, BD, and HD DVD collection currently."

Wow! You have a serious investment in hard drives. Sounds like you have a lot of time and money invested in your HTPC.
Money: Yes. Time: No. I paid people to put my collections on HD. I only have to put new buys on myself. Which hasn't really been that bad.
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Old 02-06-2008   #6
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Default Re: Are servers the new media?

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Money: Yes. Time: No. I paid people to put my collections on HD. I only have to put new buys on myself. Which hasn't really been that bad.
Yeah, I could definitely manage a one at time as I acquire them thing, that's not so painful.

Are you planning to set-up your new house to have the HTPC run both the media room and whole house?

I have whole house completely separated from the media room. I am still on the fence about that decision.
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